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Better point geometry for OO gauge layouts


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10 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

 

That would work for a crossing but not for the combination of point and diamond crossing or slip, as the difference in crossing angles comes into play. A quick mock-up showing how far towards the crossing of the slip the curve of the long point extends, for 45 mm track centres:

 

705976030_Longpointandslip45mmcentres.jpg.91ff4345be7fa7f3aeecee33b006c073.jpg

 

More generally, to model a railway, almost everyone has to make compromises on length and curvature. It's the nature of the beast. I don't think folk should be criticised for continuing to make those compromises while endeavouring to work to finer standards.

Maybe cut the webs on the diamond and tweak the rails into a gentle curve?      I have twisted and tweaked points into all sorts of weird shapes over the years. The only problem is when one of the non standard units fails as replacing them becomes a major operation instead of just substituting one standard peco point for another.

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Spurred  by the subject of track radii, last night I  looked at the data panels for the NR Yellow Train which has 57 and 63 foot Mk 1 stock in the consist.

The data panel read 71 metres minimum radius for the 57 foot  Mk 1 coach and 100 metres minimum radius for the 63 foot Mk 1 coach.

I  assume those tight radii are confined to sidings,  I also know that some stock need the fitters to turn up to temporarily remove  suspension units (  yaw dampers ) before they can negotiate extremely tight curves .

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On 24/09/2019 at 10:59, RedgateModels said:

 

Of course the Americans have to use different terms, it's Switch and Crossing rather than Points and Crossing ;)

AFAIK Switches and Crossings is the term used nowadays, rather awkwardly IMHO,  by Network Rail's PW engineers to describe what it is they do . 

 

The American tend to refer to switch and frog- frog because the crossing V looks rather like the frog of a horse's hoof) I understand that, in Australian railway circles, frogs are known as V crossings However, though often also referred to as points, sometimes in the same document, the word switch for the pair of pointed moving rails plus their associated gubbins  goes back in British railway usage to the middle of the nineteenth century.

I think one major difference is that in Britain, historically and still, pointwork (or Switch & Crossing Work if you're a PW engineer) often consists of various permutations  of switches and crossings to produce tailormade trackwork. In America, even quite complex trackwork was more likely to be made up of a series of separate and complete turnouts though that's also becoming more typical over here.  

Edited by Pacific231G
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On 08/08/2019 at 10:24, DavidCBroad said:

It could be Iain Rice's reference was to Peco geometry rather than using RTL Peco products unmodified.   Chopping great chunks off the short crossing and smaller ones off the heel of the points would minimise the reverse curve dog leggy thingy.  I invariably buy second hand track so  don't feel so bad if I ruin a few items in the process of TLoPP design (Total Lack of Pre Planning)

CJ Freezer was if anything worse in the 60 plans series as he often drew a curved diamond with one road on a 2ft radius and the other straight. Completely unlike anything Peco made or make and just about impossible to bodge from Peco components

 

 

Hi David

I've been through my copies of 60 plans and I couldn't find any examples of a curved diamond crossing in 60 plans for small railways. There were a few in 60 plans for larger layouts but I think it worth remembering that, at the time Cyril Freezer was drawing those plans, the assumption was that "serious" modellers would probably build their own track. "Small railway" also didn't necessarily mean simple or beginner's layout though his plans were mostly based on simple left and right hand points. 

 

 60 plans was first published in 1958 at least four years before Peco started offering the first, nominal two foot radius, Streamline points. It was a collection of mainly CJF's plans published in RM in the seven years before then. He couldn't have been designing specifically for Peco track as their pre-Streamline offer RTL offer was just for a three foot radius left and right hand point with the same geometry as any other nominally three foot radius point. Among the specialist RTL track manufacturers  Wrenn, Gem and Formoway were offering a wider range of ready to lay pointwork based on 24 and 36 inch radii with Gem also offering 15 inch radius points.

 

People often accuse CJF of drawing plans that couldn't be built in practice but, apart from the few  with bespoke complex pointwork,  I've yet to find one of his plans I couldn't redraw in AnyRail in the same space with standard Peco Streamline.  I did find this comment in his Plan of the Month for January 1963 "A Modular Layout" (based on a variant of Minories) "Two alternative arrangements for the hidden sidings are shown. "The second shows the advantage one can can gain if special trackwork can be built. This formation  (a scissors crossover with a double slip on one arm) cannot be built from commercial equipment, so do not try!"

 

In experimenting with throwovers of longer carriages over crossovers I've found that a straight crossover based on Peco large radius points doesn't give the advantages over one based on medium radius points that I'd expected. I think this may be partly down to the ir standard12 degree final divergence angle requiring a curve beyond the frog (common crossing) . Have you tried butchering a couple of those to get a crossover with a straight between the two frogs?

 

Update: I've just realised that I'm replying to a thirteen month old posting not one from this August.  My question about modifying Peco large radius points is still current though.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pacific231G
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21 hours ago, Grovenor said:

Never mind the turnouts, where can I get a loft like that?

 

In some parts of this country, terraced houses share a common loft space. Buy up a terrace and let out the houses that you don't need.

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1 hour ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

In some parts of this country, terraced houses share a common loft space. Buy up a terrace and let out the houses that you don't need.

 

 

My grandad lived in Tooting Bec in the 50's , about the time of the Windrush. His neighbor herd a noise in the loft and as you say the whole roof void was interconnected along the terrace, and there were quite a few beds up there. We thought it was funny but we were not living there and I think the local authorities got involved. Still  gave us quite a few laughs for quite a few years

 

Then about 35 years ago we owned a terrace house, I had a model railway in my loft, my neighbor used his loft to dry out his cannabis plants 

Edited by hayfield
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3 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

Hi David

In experimenting with throwovers of longer carriages over crossovers I've found that a straight crossover based on Peco large radius points doesn't give the advantages over one based on medium radius points that I'd expected. I think this may be partly down to the ir standard12 degree final divergence angle requiring a curve beyond the frog (common crossing) . Have you tried butchering a couple of those to get a crossover with a straight between the two frogs?

 

Update: I've just realised that I'm replying to a thirteen month old posting not one from this August.  My question about modifying Peco large radius points is still current though.

No probs.  

I had thought of straightening out the section between frogs on a large radius Streamline crossover as you suggest and also cropping the large radius to 45mm track spacing but haven't had the opportunity to lay a large radius cross over since my last post.

  Interesting history about CJF I always thought streamline came first before 60 plans.   I have some farish 2ft points in the scrap box and they bend nicely to gentle curves and the blades flex instead of a joint,  They look ancient, probably pre streamline but need pinning down as they need locking point levers as they have no detent springs.  That was probably the game changer for Peco with Streamline combining the self contained locking with a "scale" appearance.

Edited by DavidCBroad
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On 12/09/2020 at 17:26, DavidCBroad said:

Interesting history about CJF I always thought streamline came first before 60 plans.   I have some farish 2ft points in the scrap box and they bend nicely to gentle curves and the blades flex instead of a joint,  They look ancient, probably pre streamline but need pinning down as they need locking point levers as they have no detent springs.  That was probably the game changer for Peco with Streamline combining the self contained locking with a "scale" appearance.

I've been looking back at RTL track based on advertising in RM and it's quite interesting. GF may have been first into the market as they were offering flexible track as early as 1950 but at some stage they must have dropped out as they announced their return with an improved "Formo" product in November 1959 and again in Sept. 1961 "Graham Farish are Back!"  but only with plain track. 24 inch radius points followed  in Sept. 1962. 

Meanwhile, Peco announced Streamline flexitrack at the March 1960 Toy Fair though it didn't appear in their adverts until January 1961 as "The British International Unbreakable Trackage System for 00/H0". Peco seem to have been the first with a plastic rather than fibre base track (though the "proprietary" manufacturers including Triang and Hornby  had used plastic bases for quite some time) They annouced a 24 inch radius Streamline point in March 1961  but the prototype looks to have had flexible rather than hinged blades so I suspect the delay in its market launch to the beginning of 1962 may have been while they sorted it out making it self locking. I remember much later that being important to me as I could try out different track formations with stock without having to pin track down and add point levers (something I still do)

 

Of the other major track manufacturers GEM (George Mellor) had the largest range with complete crossovers including a scissors crossover, double track junction and three radiii of points but, in August 1961, Wrenn announced that their range of "H0/00 finescale niclel silver trackwork nearer to scale for the fastidious modeller, previously made only for export to America and the Continent"  would now be available in Britain. Like Streamline this had H0 scale sleepering and included no.4 and no 6 points (roughly  24" and 36") though the sleepering looks from the photo to be similar to Streamline so scale for European rather than North American trackage.

 

There were other track makers such as Alan Brett Cannon with "Chairway" and Welkut and they do appear in descriptions of layouts while Peco were still producing Pecoway etc. but I suspect that in terms of manufacturing they were fairly small scale. 

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

GF may have been first into the market as they were offering flexible track as early as 1950 but at some stage they must have dropped out as they announced their return with an improved "Formo" product in November 1959 and again in Sept. 1961 "Graham Farish are Back!"  but only with plain track. 24 inch radius points followed  in Sept. 1962.

I can't be certain but from reading old RMs the first "Formo" track was fairly basic (fibre sleepers?). Perhaps the second run was improved (plastic sleepers?). The new product in 1961 was "Formoway" and was brand new with plastic sleepers and flexible, non-locking point blades (GF did make a very good point lever that was far more robust than the GEM equivalent). The plastic frogs were rather large. I suspect this was brought out following the announcement of Peco Streamline to try to retain some market share. Certainly the range of Formoway points was most impressive - the only ready to use single slip for many years, for example. In the late 60s/early 70s Liveway followed with, as the name implies, live frog points.

 

12 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

They annouced a 24 inch radius Streamline point in March 1961  but the prototype looks to have had flexible rather than hinged blades so I suspect the delay in its market launch to the beginning of 1962 may have been while they sorted it out making it self locking.

The original Streamline points did have full length blades but they weren't flexible as such. They were hinged right at the end next to the frog. The points were held over by friction - not very well. The points with blades hinged halfway along and the over-centre spring came later - perhaps about 1964/65?

 

12 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

Of the other major track manufacturers GEM (George Mellor) had the largest range with complete crossovers including a scissors crossover, double track junction and three radiii of points

GEM plastic-based track was well thought of, especially the TT version which was popular not only with 3mm scale modellers but also those who favoured 00n3.

 

 

 

Edited by St Enodoc
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1 minute ago, St Enodoc said:

I can't be certain but from reading old RMs the first "Formo" track was fairly basic (fibre sleepers?). Perhaps the second run was improved (plastic sleepers?). The new product in 1961 was "Formoway" and was brand new with plastic sleepers and flexible, non-locking point blades (GF did make a very good point lever that was far more robust than the GEM equivalent). The plastic frogs were rather large. I suspect this was brought out following the announcement of Peco Streamline to try to retain some market share. Certainly the range of Formoway points was most impressive - the only ready to use single slip for many years, for example. In the late 60s/early 70s Liveway followed with, as the name implies, live frog points.

 

The original Streamline points did have full length blades but they weren't flexible as such. They were hinged right at the end next to the frog. The points were held over by friction - not very well. The points with blades hinged halfway along and the over-centre spring came later - perhaps about 1964/65?

The original Formoway was indeeed made with fibre sleepers but so were others from that era including Pecoway. I've got a couple of Pecoway points and one of their plain track kits - They were going for a song at an exhibition bring and buy a few years ago so I bought them out of curiosity. The fibre base seems to be the same material that I remember from laying some fibre based track many years ago- you had to cut the web to curve it. It was fine until it got damp! I think it was in TT-3 so would probably have been GEM

I noticed the Formoway slip in their advertising and unlike Peco's offering it was three foot radius not two foot (which kills Peco's slips for me)

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4 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

The original Formoway was indeeed made with fibre sleepers but so were others from that era including Pecoway. I've got a couple of Pecoway points and one of their plain track kits - They were going for a song at an exhibition bring and buy a few years ago so I bought them out of curiosity. The fibre base seems to be the same material that I remember from laying some fibre based track many years ago- you had to cut the web to curve it. It was fine until it got damp! I think it was in TT-3 so would probably have been GEM

I noticed the Formoway slip in their advertising and unlike Peco's offering it was three foot radius not two foot (which kills Peco's slips for me)

The odd thing was that for several years there was no Formoway double slip. In the late 60s I paid what seemed like a fortune (many weeks' pocket money) for a Fleischmann one, with brass rail.

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16 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

I've been looking back at RTL track based on advertising in RM and it's quite interesting.

Meanwhile, Peco announced Streamline flexitrack at the March 1960 Toy Fair though it didn't appear in their adverts until January 1961 as "The British International Unbreakable Trackage System for 00/H0".

 

 

Peco did advertise 'Streamline' as the 'INTERNATIONAL TRACKAGE SYSTEM for 00/H0 Gauge' in 1960 August issue. Since there were no Points and Crossing available, I assume that Peco backed off advertising.

 

Also evidence that '60 Plans', was around before Streamline track.

Streamline.jpeg

Edited by kevinlms
Info on 60 plans.
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4 minutes ago, kevinlms said:

Peco did advertise 'Streamline' as the 'INTERNATIONAL TRACKAGE SYSTEM for 00/H0 Gauge' in 1960 August issue. Since there were no Points and Crossing available, I assume that Peco backed off advertising.

 

Also evidence that '60 Plans', was around before Streamline track.

Streamline.jpeg

 

Some other comments on the artwork.

 

Note the flexible track logo, the trains sitting directly on the sand! and the inevitable pipe of the period.

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20 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

...I noticed the Formoway slip in their advertising and unlike Peco's offering it was three foot radius not two foot (which kills Peco's slips for me)

Even at the current crossing angle a 4' radius slip would be much better. I wonder how long it will need before Peco take the logical next step in their better OO track range: that of abandoning complete conformity with legacy Streamline point geometry, and venturing at least some 'incompatibility' in the way of a shallower crossing angle.

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26 minutes ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

Even at the current crossing angle a 4' radius slip would be much better. I wonder how long it will need before Peco take the logical next step in their better OO track range: that of abandoning complete conformity with legacy Streamline point geometry, and venturing at least some 'incompatibility' in the way of a shallower crossing angle.

 

 

I completely understand where you are coming from, but is this Peco's main target audience?

 

They have been extremely successful in the current design of their interchangeable track system, its what their punters want, whether its their streamline or set track systems. At the moment they cannot make enough

 

I am old enough to have used both Formway and GEM products, but whilst in my opinion they were better than Pecos products history shows the vast bulk of buyers preferred Peco's offerings. Mainly I think because Peco track did not need splicing together to form closer together parallel track. With Peco you could plug and play far easier and the GEM track suffered from soft cast common crossings 

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43 minutes ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

Even at the current crossing angle a 4' radius slip would be much better. I wonder how long it will need before Peco take the logical next step in their better OO track range: that of abandoning complete conformity with legacy Streamline point geometry, and venturing at least some 'incompatibility' in the way of a shallower crossing angle.

 

I think they do indeed need to break out of the existing geometry to make any improvements now. That's exactly what I suggested here:

The idea includes adaptors to connect the new geometry to the standard current Streamline geometry.

 

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5 hours ago, kevinlms said:

 

Some other comments on the artwork.

 

Note the flexible track logo, the trains sitting directly on the sand! and the inevitable pipe of the period.

 

And note that the 5/9 a yard quoted price equates to around £5 today - a yard of SL-100F at Hattons is £3.20.

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1 hour ago, hayfield said:

...I completely understand where you are coming from, but is this Peco's main target audience?

 

They have been extremely successful in the current design of their interchangeable track system, its what their punters want, whether its their streamline or set track systems...

It's pretty safe to say that most of the customer base has to be shown potentially better options, before they will take an interest.

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